Quicken Loans National experts' picks

June, 25, 2014

Each week of the season, our experts share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low this week), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week, the PGA Tour is at Congressional Country Club for the Quicken Loans National in Bethesda, Maryland.

Horse for the Course

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Tiger Woods
In his two victories at Congressional, the 14-time major winner is 20-under par. He doesn't have his top game this week, but his good memories and experience around this Bethesda jewel could carry him into contention.

Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: Stewart Cink
At a major championship venue like Congressional Country Club, it helps having a major on the résumé. In two starts on the Blue Course, 2009 Open Championship winner Cink finished fifth in 2013 and T-22 in 2012.

Birdie Buster

Collins: Jordan Spieth
This was one of the few courses Spieth MC'd on his first try. He came back nicely with a sixth-place finish last year so it's obvious he's comfortable at the venue now. After a week off, he'll come in fresh and hungry. Top-five finish ... easy.

Evans: Jordan Spieth
The 20-year-old Texan has three straight top-20 finishes, but that represents a minor slump for him after starting his season with six top-10s. He expects to be in contention every week he plays.

Maguire: K.J. Choi
Coming off a tie for his best finish of the year with a T-2 at the Travelers Championship last week, Choi seems to be rounding into form, which is good considering he won this event back in 2007 at this week's venue.

Super Sleeper

Collins: Brendan Steele
It hasn't been a horrible year, but it hasn't been a great year, either. Coming off his longest missed cut streak (two), a two-week break, and then a nice effort last week, it's easy to see a top-10 finish coming outside D.C.

Evans: Bo Van Pelt
After missing seven of his first 11 cuts, the 39-year-old Oklahoma State graduate has begun to play the kind of consistent golf that led him to a second-place finish at the Quicken Loans National in 2012, one of his 10 top-10s that year.

Maguire: Billy Hurley III
The Navy man has posted only one top-10 since early March, but he returns home to Washington, D.C., where he will be serenaded by the military crowd that always shows up for Tiger Woods' event. A T-4 last year shows that Hurley knows how to get around a tough track.


Collins: Tiger Woods
Just kidding! I just wanted to see how many people read my actual pick and how many flip out and comment without reading the rest of my answer. J.B. Holmes gets win No. 2 of the year this week at a course where he's had success in the past. At this course, he can use his length off the tee to a big advantage, and he will.

Evans: Brandt Snedeker
The 2012 FedEx Cup champion has had a tie for ninth and a tie for 11th in his last two starts on the PGA Tour. Last year, he finished in a tie for eighth at the Quicken Loans National. The eight-time tour winner had two victories in 2013: the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the RBC Canadian.

Maguire: Jordan Spieth
During his stellar rookie season, Spieth finished sixth at Congressional, one of his nine top-10s on the year. He's proved a quick study, so don't be surprised when the 20-year-old accepts the trophy from Tiger Woods on Sunday night.





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